This was more than a residency. It was the catalyst of a movement.
Performances/intervention at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Santiago, Chile
/// March 2017
We spent our time preparing and conceptualizing the performance by exploring the museums and collections related to female energy, legacy, magic, tribe, and sexuality. And we convened with incredible female artists, curators, thinkers, cultural workers and leaders in the arts in Santiago, Chile. Engaged in creative and philosophical thought, solidified a vow of commitment to this movement and spiritual shift. These experiences culminated in a collaborative performance/intervention at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago.
On March 7th, we conducted a cleansing ritual to tap into the female energy of the building and the historic legacy of its preservation of art. Led by a local shaman, we called for a systematic change where female artists can claim more space. Our group of artists cleaned the dirty fountain on the facade of the building, what we called the “conch” or vulva of the Museum.
The next day, we performed “Altar a lo Femenino” (Altar to Female Energy); 12 of us as “spirits” slowly awakened by the feral muse (María Pinchulef). Performance artist Sofia Oportot opened the performance with her menstruating bride persona, Mariangel Amaury “Mai” followed with drag/make-up ritual and awakening. Dancer/choreographer María Pinchulef led the awakening of the other “spirits” as a feral muse that represented nature and primal female energy. Ela Alpi’s persona embraced dance and the decolonization of the hips as she was released from the trap of a corset and codes of beauty imposed on us by systems of oppression. Actress Nicole Pérez-Ayala declared a prayer to goddess Durga. Francisca Daniela Oyarce performed a hindu dance to accompany the prayer. Leaders of the Women’s Chess Association in Santiago and international champions of chess, Damaris Abarca González and Valentina Paza, performed as opposing forces that come together; black and white chess pieces that are oppositional but recognize and need each other. Shey Rivera performed as the spirit of war, flaunting its long tail/skirt; then baring her back to the feral spirit to embrace a ritual of healing. The feral muse patched up her wounds and invited the spirit of war to to release its burden of anger and destruction. Renowned musician Monserrat Sembler played her flute to lead the awakening of the spirits. Poet Sussy Santana declared her piece “Siento” from the top of the stairs of the museum. The performance ended with the awakening of the brown Venus: actress Morgana La Negra, dressed in red, sitting over the conch of the museum. She bared her breasts and the spirits took the long pieces of her red dress, extending them into the audience, taking a thick red fabric from her solar plexus into the audience. The spirits took the thread, gave it to the audience members and together build a web of connection. We ended the performance by taking the audience to the National Women’s March, where we joined the activists and the rest of the community in celebration of Women’s Right’s, with our net, which became a connector that invited dance and movement ad people came into it to be tangled and to dance underneath it and with us.
Ela Alpi, Sussy Santana & Shey Rivera, in collaboration with local artists from Santiago, Chile:
LAS PRÓCERES — with Francisca Daniela Oyarce Soto, Nicole Pérez-Yarza Ayala, Monserrat Sembler Cornejo, María Pinchulef, Sussy Santana, Shey Riv, Sofia Oportot, Damaris Vazquez, Valentina Paza, Morgana La Negra, Mariangel Amaury Marciel andDamaris Abarca González at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago.
In the evening we performed at El Clan cabaret club, as part of the inauguration event of a newly birthed association of women cultural workers and arts managers: “GESTORAS”, Primer Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres Trabajadoras de las Culturas y las Artes”.
The next morning, we took to the streets as female icons of our own making to intervene male public monuments and bring to light the lack of female representation of historic monuments in public spaces. Las Próceres claims space in history and sets camp on public spaces.
A big thank you to the amazing and powerful women who hosted us with generosity, love, and inspired us with their power, dedication, and strong identities. We oppose a system that only works to create separation and distrust between women. We work toward a world where we recognize and respect each other, we empower and support each others’ growth, and we celebrate other women’s accomplishments and contribution. We are a movement. Shift the power.